Ask a recruiter, and they might say that their clients are doing everything wrong.
While it’s tempting to say that, especially if a client recently cost you a placement, that claim is more than likely false.
That’s a blanket statement, to be sure, and more than likely one that’s false. However, there seems to be one mistake that hiring managers and company officials keep consistently making. That mistake is this:
Taking longer and longer with the interviewing and hiring process.
Of course, this mistake is more glaring and more costly during a candidates’ market. And . . . lo and behold, we are IN a candidates’ market right now! The problem is that when you’re in a candidates’ market, the top candidates don’t stick around for long. And they certainly don’t stick around for a long, drawn-out hiring process.
The urgency with which a client wants to hire typically correlates to the speed of the hiring process. The more urgency there is, the more quickly it goes.
Top Echelon recently conducted a poll of the members of its split network. The question that we asked of recruiters in this poll was follows:
On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest), how would you assess your clients’ urgency to hire?
The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of split network recruiters that selected each one:
- 1 — 4.3%
- 2 — 21.7%
- 3 — 46.1%
- 4 — 19.1%
- 5 — 8.7%
Less than 10% of recruiters indicated that their clients’ have the highest urgency to hire! Not only that, but only about 19% chose “4” as their clients’ level of urgency. That’s less than 30% of recruiters that their client’s urgency is on the high end of the spectrum.
By far, the most popular answer was “3” with 46.1% of the vote. And on top of that, nearly as many recruiters think their client’s urgency is at the low end of the spectrum (26.0%) as the high end. The bottom line is that employers just aren’t moving with any sense of urgency.
One of the reasons, of course, is that many hiring managers and company officials are searching for what they consider to be the “perfect candidate.” They figure if they’re going to spend time and money hiring somebody, then the person they eventually hire better be the best of the best of the best. While that logic can be understood, it’s still flawed in terms of its application to the reality of the marketplace.
What’s also flawed is the prevailing belief on the part of hiring authorities that candidates are going to wait around that long for an interviewing and hiring process. The fact of the matter is that they’re simply not going to do so. And when A-level candidates drop out of the hiring process, employers can not hire those candidates. They lose them.
So who’s at fault there? Even though every recruiter reading this blog post may be bellowing “It’s my client’s fault!” right now, there’s a problem with that viewpoint. That problem is that even though your client is contributing to the problem, the onus for fixing said problem rests more with you than the client.
That’s because it’s within the recruiter’s power to influence the speed of the hiring process. In fact, there are five ways that recruiters can speed up the hiring process:
- Determine if filling the position is a priority.
- Identify the true decision maker.
- Educate the client about current market conditions.
- Secure a commitment in terms of the speed of the process.
- Set expectations regarding communication and feedback.
That final one, the setting of expectations, is crucial. If you as the recruiter don’t set those expectations for a timely hiring process, then you can’t expect it to happen.
So what exactly IS a timely hiring process? According to most industry experts and trainers, a hiring process should last no more than four weeks. If the process lasts more than four weeks, then candidates start dropping out.
Most of the candidates dropping out are passive candidates who are either staying with their current employer or considering an employment opportunity with another organization. Any way you slice it, they’re either staying or going somewhere else.
So do everything you can to prevent your recruiting clients from making this mistake. Set expectations, influence the decision maker, and don’t allow them to drag out the hiring process.